Annie Get Your Gun

From Academic Kids

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Annie Get Your Gun is a stage musical loosely based on the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The music and lyrics were written by Irving Berlin with a book by Herbert Fields and Dorothy Fields. Berlin had taken on the job after the original choice, Jerome Kern, collapsed and died suddenly. It is said that the showstopper song, "There's No Business Like Show Business", was almost left out of the show altogether because Berlin, wrongly, got the impression that his sponsors, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, did not like it.



  • "Let's Go West Again" was written by Berlin for the 1950 film but was not used. However, there are recordings by both Betty Hutton and Judy Garland.
  • "An Old-Fashioned Wedding" was written by Berlin for the 1966 revival.

Broadway production

Annie Get Your Gun was first staged at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway on May 16, 1946 and ran for 1147 performances. It was directed by Joshua Logan. Ethel Merman starred as Annie in the original production, with Ray Middleton in the leading male role as Frank Butler.

London production

The show opened at the Coliseum on June 7, 1947 and ran for 1304 performances. Dolores Gray played Annie with Bill Johnson as Butler.

Australian production

The show opened at His Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne on July 19, 1947. It starred Evie Hayes as Annie with Webb Tilton as Frank Butler. Later Australian productions have featured Gloria Dawn, Nancye Hayes, Toni Lamond, Bunny Gibson and Rhonda Burchmore as Annie. In 2004, Marina Prior and Scott Irwin starred in a production of the 1999 rewrite of the show.

1950 MGM film version

In the 1950 MGM movie production directed by George Sidney, Betty Hutton played Annie with Howard Keel in the role of Frank Butler. Originally, Judy Garland had been cast for the title role, but was forced to back out of the production due to personal problems that would soon end her career with MGM. Only two production numbers were completed with Garland: "Doin' What Comes Naturally" and "I'm an Indian Too" and these were released to the public for the first time in the 1990s in That's Entertainment III!

Despite the production problems, the film became popular in its own right, though in 1973 it disappeared from sight due to a dispute between Irving Berlin and MGM over music rights. It was not until the film's 50th Anniversary in 2000 that it was seen again in its entirety.

Other productions

The 1966 Broadway Revival starred Ethel Merman again, with Bruce Yarnell as Butler. It opened at the Broadway Theatre on September 21 and ran for 78 performances.

The 1999 revival with a reworked book and a new orchestration opened at the Marquis Theatre on March 4 and ran for 1045 performances. It starred Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat.

Other stage Annies include Heidi Brühl, Marilu Henner, Cheryl Ladd, Susan Lucci, Mary Martin, Reba McEntire, and Suzi Quatro. There is also a studio recording starring Doris Day.


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